Deadliest day since February: B.C. reports 11 deaths related to COVID-19
The B.C. government announced another 11 deaths related to COVID-19 on Friday, marking the deadliest 24 hours in the province since February.
The Ministry of Health said five of the latest coronavirus-related deaths were recorded in the Interior Health region, while Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health recorded four and two, respectively.
The ministry did not provide the ages or immunization status of the deceased.
But the unvaccinated still make up the vast majority of COVID-19 patients in intensive care, according to numbers shared by Health Minister Adrian Dix on Twitter.
They show 89 per cent of the 136 people in ICU as of Friday afternoon are unvaccinated, including every patient under the age of 40.
Over the past two weeks, from Sept. 2 to 15, the fully vaccinated have only been hospitalized at a rate of 1.2 cases per 100,000 population in B.C., according to the ministry's numbers. That's compared to 43.2 cases per 100,000 among the unvaccinated, and 8.4 cases per 100,000 among the partially vaccinated.
"After factoring for age, people not vaccinated are 35.1 times more likely to be hospitalized than those fully vaccinated," the ministry said in a news release.
The province also reported 768 new COVID-19 infections on Friday, leaving its seven-day average at 685, down from 693 on Thursday. B.C.'s active caseload increased to 6,031, up from 5,844 on Thursday.
About 31 per cent of the latest infections were recorded in the Fraser Health region, followed by 24 per cent in Interior Health, 21 per cent in Northern Health, 13 per cent in Island Health and 11 per cent in Vancouver Coastal Health.
For context, Fraser Health represents about 38 per cent of the provincial population; Interior Health, 16 per cent; Northern Health, six per cent; Island Health, 17 per cent; and Vancouver Coastal Health, 24 per cent.
As of Friday, 86.5 per cent of eligible B.C. residents age 12 or older have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, and 78.9 per cent have received both doses. A total of 7,675,294 vaccine doses have been administered across the province so far.
The unvaccinated are also over-represented among case numbers.
Adjusted for age, there were only 29.5 infections per 100,000 population among the fully vaccinated from Sept. 9 to 15, according to the ministry, compared to 312.9 cases per 100,000 among the unvaccinated and 91.5 per 100,000 among the partially vaccinated.
The province had no new outbreaks to announce in health-care facilities, and those at Menno Home, Opal by Element and Sunset Lodge were declared over. That leaves 20 active outbreaks across B.C.'s health-care system.
This week, the Alberta government announced its health-care system is under "extreme pressure" due to an influx of COVID-19 patients, and that officials are discussing the possibility of transferring some to ICUs in other provinces.
Minister Dix has already said B.C. can't accept any overflow patients from other jurisdictions due to the pandemic's ongoing strain on hospitals.
On Friday, Premier John Horgan said he's been in contact with Jason Kenney, and that he and the Alberta premier agree that increasing vaccination numbers if the best way to get the fourth wave under control.
"The challenges in Alberta right now are stark," Horgan said. "We're in much better shape in British Columbia but that doesn't mean we're not going to continue to be vigilant, continue to encourage people to get vaccines."
With files from CTV News Vancouver's Bhinder Sajan
Correction: A previous version of this story reported that 95 per cent of ICU patietns as of Friday were unvaccinated. It was 89 per cent.